Building Department Mission Statement:
The Building & Zoning Department is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the State Building Code, local zoning ordinance, and property maintenance code. The department plays an important role in land use, environmental protection and economic growth while protecting the community’s public health, welfare and safety. The department also provides cooperation and assistance with other Town Departments and outside agencies in accordance with the Richmond Town Charter, Richmond Zoning Ordinance, and applicable Rhode Island State Laws and local regulations.
- Review building permit applications for regulatory code compliance; schedule inspections in preparation for the compliance and issuance of all permits
- Liaison to state and local officials, including administrators with the Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Management, and Fire Marshal
- Manage intake and process of all complaints and issue violation notices for zoning incompliance and property maintenance
- Serve as Town’s E911 Municipal Coordinator
- Provide general public service to the Town including answering telephones, scheduling appointments, answering code questions, and any other inquires regarding land use and proposed projects
- Provide inspections to ensure compliance with State Building Code, local ordinances, local Fire and Police Departments, and compliance for licensing of schools, establishments that serve alcoholic beverages, and all other public places within the community.
For your convenience, the Town of Richmond has implemented an online permitting system for the submittal of building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, demolition, and sign permits. If you are unsure if you need to submit a building permit, please contact the department for guidance.
If you do not own a computer, or if you need assistance using a computer, please contact the Building Department during normal business hours between Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Payments can be completed online by using a credit card, or electronic check; however, you may submit payment to the Building Department in the form of a check or cash. Checks may be made payable to the Town of Richmond.
Requirements for New Construction:
- Own the property.
- Two (2) sets of building plans to scale, to include: foundation plan, floor plan with all rooms identified, framing plan, cross section, and elevations.
- A Plot Plan - To scale, showing distance of foundation, overhangs, decks, and septic system from all property lines and the survey markers on all corners of said lot.
Fire Department Plan Review:
The local fire departments will also review plans for new construction. Please be advised there are two districts in Richmond, and because they are separate entities and not entirely on our ViewPoint system yet, any fees associated with their department should be submitted to the appropriate district. Fire District Map
Hope Valley Wyoming Fire District
996 Main Street
Hope Valley, R.I., 02832
Fire Marshal Pat Hawkins
Hope Valley Wyoming Fire District - Serving Hopkinton and Richmond (hvwfd.org)
Richmond Caroline Fire District
208 Richmond Townhouse Road
Carolina, R.I., 02812
Fire Marshal John Woodard
Richmond Carolina Fire District - Washington County, RI (rcfd.org)
Engineered Lumber, Beams & Trusses:
If the plans have trusses (floor or roof), micro lam LVL beams, steel girders or other engineered beams, all calculations and plans must be submitted with the building permit application. If plans have unusual structural design, an Engineer or Architect must stamp said plans. Depending on the building official’s discretion, a 128 Form may be required.
In accordance with Section 128.0 of the Rhode Island Building Code, a registered professional Engineer shall certify that he/she prepared or directly supervised the preparation of drawings, computations and specifications and that to the best of his/her knowledge such drawings, computations and specifications meet all applicable provisions of the Rhode Island state building codes, all acceptable engineering practices and all applicable laws for the proposed project. The Engineer shall further certify that they will perform the necessary professional services and be present on the construction site on a regular and periodic basis to determine that the work is proceeding in accordance with the documents approved for the building permit and shall be responsible for additional requirements specified in Section 128.2.2 and 128.2.3.
Town Water Connection:
Pursuant to Chapter 13.05.090, Section B of the Richmond Code of Ordinances:
B. When a new water service connection is required for new construction, the builder shall submit an application for new water service to the building official with the building permit application. The building official shall not issue a building permit for a building that requires a new water service connection until the water service application has been submitted. If the application for new water service was submitted in the builder’s name, the builder shall be responsible for transferring the account to the owner or occupant of the building.
Note: If your dwelling is serviced by a private well for drinking water, you must submit to this office, prior to a Certificate of Occupancy being issued, written documentation which demonstrates compliance with the drinking water standard for private wells established by the Director of the Rhode Island State Health Department
Please call the Building Department (401-491-9684) or the Finance Department (401-539-8297) to confirm if the Town's water system is available to the new construction site.
If on a town accepted highway, obtain a driveway permit from the Building Department by contacting Samantha or the Department of Public Works; 401-539-8474. If on a State highway, please consult with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation at 401-222-2450.
Please contact Samantha (401-491-9684) to have the E911 Designation completed.
All building inspections will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
For all other trades, inspections are scheduled daily. Please request an inspection via the ViewPoint Portal website under the permit that has been approved, or call 401-491-9684 to record the inspection request with Samantha.
Please be advised pursuant to Chapter 03.06.040, Item E of the Richmond Code of Ordinances: $50.00 shall be charged for the second re-inspection and subsequent re-inspections of the same work.
Building Permit Fee Schedule:
3.06.040 Building permit fees and related charges.
A. The fee for building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing permits issued pursuant to the state building code shall be as follows:
Estimated value of work
$10,000 or less
$13 per $1,000 of value; minimum $50
$10,001 to $50,000
$130 plus $11 per $1,000 of value more than $10,000
$50,001 or more
$570 plus $9 per $1,000 of value more than $50,000
B. Any surcharge required by state law, including but not limited to those required by R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 23-27.3-108.2(c)(1) and § 23-61-8, shall be collected in addition to the fee above.
C. For any permit issued after work has commenced, a surcharge of $100 shall be added.
D. The building official or his designee shall have the authority to determine the estimated value of work for the purpose of calculating the building permit fee. For basic residential construction, the value may be based on the following average costs:
$125 per sq. ft. first floor, $105 per sq. ft. second floor
Garages and barns
$60 per sq. ft.
Sheds, porches, and decks
$45 per sq. ft.
The average cost includes the cost of constructing the foundation. The building official also may consult the International Code Council building valuation data as adjusted for local conditions by the state building commissioner.
E. The cost of the initial inspection and the cost of one reinspection of the same work are included in the building permit fee. A fee of $50 shall be charged for the second reinspection and subsequent reinspections of the same work.
F. The cost of issuance of a certificate of use and occupancy is included in the building permit fee.
G. The fee for a demolition permit shall be calculated in the same manner a building permit fee is calculated.
H. The fee for filing an application for a variance or exception or an appeal to the Richmond building code board of appeals shall be $75. The fee for filing an application for an appeal to the same board sitting as the housing board of review from a violation notice issued by the housing enforcement officer under the R.I. property maintenance code shall be $75.
I. Buildings owned by the town of Richmond, by a fire district established by legislative charter, or by a public water district shall be exempt from the payment of fees under the state building code except for fees and surcharges collected for, and paid to, the state. The town council may waive all or part of the municipal portion of any fee collected under the state building code if the town council determines, at its discretion, that the waiver would benefit the public.